Groups Disappointed with Montgomery County Court Ruling on Maryland State Law Preempting Healthy Lawns Act- Restricting the Use of Lawn Pesticides in Private Lawns

 Media Contact:

Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin T. 202 360-7166

Montgomery County, Maryland, August 3, 2017 –

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Terrence McGann ruled today against Montgomery County’s Healthy Lawns Act ordinance that restricts the use of certain pesticides on private lawns, stating that Maryland state law preempts this law.

The nine organization that filed an Amicus brief in support of this landmark Montgomery County, Maryland ordinance are saddened to have this local Montgomery law overturned.

“We remain confident that the laws in Maryland support the county’s fundamental right, under its longstanding police powers, to pass laws to protect the health and wellbeing of its citizens.  This loss is a setback in the fight for the protection of public health, but hopefully it will not be the last chapter in this story,” says Chris Nidel partner at Nidel & Nace, PLLC, which represented the amici.

“We consider this a major setback and are saddened by the fact that thousands of Montgomery residents wanted the local Healthy Lawns Act to be enacted both in private and public property. Local jurisdictions should have the right to enact laws that their local constituents want, especially when it comes to protecting the health of local residents, “says Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin, Safe Grow Montgomery’s spokesperson.

52-14- Healthy Lawns Act- is intended to protect children, pets, wildlife, and the wider environment from the hazards of lawn and landscape pesticide use. Over one million people’s health is further protected by this bill, the largest number to be covered by any local jurisdiction to date. Passing the Montgomery County Council by a vote of 6-3, the law allows time for transition, training, and a public education program over several years.

The groups filing the Amicus include:  Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety, Central Maryland Beekeepers Association, Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility, Food and Water Watch, Maryland Pesticide Education Network, Maryland PIRG Foundation, Organic Consumers Association, and Safe Grow Montgomery.



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